able·ism |\  ˈā-bə-ˌli-zəm  \

Definition of ableism

: discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities

2020 Definition of Ableism
Brown square with the following words in white and yellow: ABLEISM a·ble·ism \ ˈābə-ˌli-zəm \ noun A system that places value on people’s bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normalcy, intelligence, excellence and productivity. These constructed ideas are deeply rooted in anti-Blackness, eugenics, colonialism and capitalism. This form of systemic oppression leads to people and society determining who is valuable and worthy based on a person’s appearance and/or their ability to satisfactorily [re]produce, excel and “behave.” You do not have to be disabled to experience ableism. a working definition by Talila “TL” Lewis in conversation with Disabled Black and other negatively racialized folk, especially Dustin Gibson; updated January 2020
Ableism is the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. It is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability. Like racism and sexism, ableism classifies entire groups of people as ‘less than,’ and includes harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations of people with disabilities.


Ableism 101: What it is, what it looks like, and what we can do to fix it

The Americans With Disabilities Act Remains Crucial In The Fight Against Ableism 29 Years Later

What is ableism, and what is its impact?

A comprehensive glossary of ableist terms by disability rights activist Lydia X. Z. Brown

So what, exactly, counts as ableism?  How it tends to show up. Examples.  Why does it happen? What’s the impact? How to avoid it.  Questions to ask yourself. Words can have a lasting impact, too. The bottom line.

An excerpt from My Body Is Not a Prayer Request by Amy Kenny. Very good article on ablism and cultural identity.

Videos on Ableism

Disabling Ableism: The Modern Pathway to Inclusion

What is Ableism?

Confronting ableism: What it is and how we can challenge it

Things People With Disabilities Wish You Knew

See also “Eliminating Ableism in Education” THOMAS HEHIR Harvard Educational Review Vol. 72 No. 1 Spring 2002

Information & Resources for People with Disabilities

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